Posts Tagged With: visiting our parents

Home…away from home

Well guys, it’s that time of year again.

Fair time.

For some of you, the state fairs in your respective states come and go with no chance in your daily life. Not me.

As the daughter of a beef cattle farmer, I’ve spent about 2 weeks every August working in a steakhouse at our state fair that’s run by the Missouri Cattlemen Association for almost as long as I can remember. We serve more than 1000 steaks a day, not including burgers, BBQ brisket, and all-beef hot dogs. It’s a frenzy of feeding hungry, tired and hot people for 12 hours a day in the heat of the summer. Luckily, we’re in an air-conditioned restaurant instead of one of those little stands that sell corn dogs and funnel cakes.

Yup, it’s fair time again. Beef House, here we come…

Still, it’s a crazy time that I’ve come to enjoy in a unique sort of way, and after I got married and moved to Kansas City, I thought my days at the fair were pretty much over. Of course, last year at this time I was pretty much unemployed so I came to work to earn some extra money. And now I’m self-employed. So I “took some time off” to come stay at my parents’ house for the next couple of weeks.

It’s a like a vacation.

A vacation where I work 12 hours a day standing on concrete next to a giant grill.

How relaxing.

But the money will be a good addition to our savings account after it took such a hit with the down payment for our house.

And it’s good to be home…away from home.

Last night was the second night at my parents’ house without my husband, and while I miss him (miss him a lot!), I have to admit how nice it is to spend time with my parents.

Moving away, even though we’re only an hour and a half or so apart now at our new house, was hard for me, as I’ve always been a family girl.

I went to a college about an hour away from home but came home most weekends because I wanted to see Wyatt and I was still involved with so much in my hometown. Seeing my parents was something I grew very used to, even after I “moved out,” per say, and I even took it for granted I think.

Then I got married, (which is great!) and moved away, for real this time. Which was awesome and hard all at the same time. Harder than I thought it would be. And more amazing to live with my husband and best friend.

Kansas City became our home.

But then again, this house that I grew up in will always be home, too.

It’s my home away from home, I guess you could say.

I love that the rooms are all so familiar and even the furniture holds memories. Last night as I sat on an old couch my mom wants to get rid of, I was reminded of the night I cried, sitting there with Wyatt, because it was the night after we’d gotten engaged and it all finally hit me. (I didn’t cry at all the night he actually asked me. I think I was in too much shock…and just so happy!)

In a happy shock after our engagement, how can I not love the house that holds so many special memories?

I love that my mom stocks her shelves with all the foods I used to love when I was living here. It’s a treat to have all those loved snacks that Hubs and I don’t buy for ourselves on an everyday basis.

And I’ve enjoyed building a project with my dad, going through old boxes of stuff for a future garage sale with my mom, and just talking with them about more than just, “this is what’s new with us.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love our house in the city, er, the suburbs now, but I also love it here. And yes, I am counting down the hours until I’ll see Hubs again, but I’m also thankful for every minute here.

There are no views like this in the city, that’s for sure. This place will always hold a special place in my heart.

What about you? What do you love about coming home? How do you cope with being away from those you love? What are your favorite memories of the houses you grew up in.

And

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Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And for this, I give thanks…

After a long weekend (4 nights, 5 days) away from home, Hubs and I are back in our little apartment and tucked in away from the cold.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We certainly did. And because so much has happened I’ve decided to do a quick recap of our Thanksgiving weekend, newlywed wife style. (In case you don’t know what that means, I’ll be throwing in my thoughts, insights, questions, ideas, opinions, etc. while sharing the stories of our trip home. Hope you don’t mind my sometimes random, sometimes wandering thoughts!)

1. We spent Thanksgiving day away from my family this year, which is hard. But that means we spent Thanksgiving with Wyatt’s family, which is great. We have so many wonderful family members that we want to spend time and that want to spend time with us. It really is a blessing we don’t take for granted.

(The holidays are both wonderful and hard because sharing our time is so important. More on this later.) However, since we were home for so many days this weekend, we were able to spend time at both parents’ houses. We headed to Sedalia on Wednesday after Hubs got home from work and spend that night and Thursday night at the in-laws. Then, we re-packed our suitcase and moved into my parents’ house for Friday and Saturday nights. It sucks moving around and living out of a suitcase, but it’s great to see both groups of people in one weekend, especially when we have no real plans and can just hang out, talk, and relax…and cook. And bake. Which brings me to my next point…

2. I love holiday baking. This year, Hubs and I made the pies for Thanksgiving dinner. Using our prize-winning recipe from my Grandma Lois. They turned out super yummy.

We're proud of our pies. Who wouldn't be?

We made pumpkin and two pecans. He’s saving one to take to work tomorrow. His coworkers are about to get super lucky. Or at least their taste buds are.

It's goodness and beauty and blessing all in one pie pan. Yum.

Baking or cooking with Wyatt is one of my favorite things to do. He’s great at so many things and I’m thankful he’s willing to spend time with me doing something I love, even if he’d rather do something else. He doesn’t love to bake as much as I do, and honestly, he’d rather eat more meat than dessert any day but he knows I consider dessert an important part of any meal and I love that he appreciates that about me.

I also made this pumpkin beauty the day after Thanksgiving at my parents’ house. It was divine.

Candied pecans, pumpkin, and cheesecake. Yup, I'm serious.

Oh my. I feel the holiday pounds packing on already. And you know what, I don’t care. Not one bit.

In fact, I wish no one did. People are supposed to eat delicious things for the next 2 months. (Not that you aren’t supposed to eat delicious things all year long…) I know that people try to watch their weight and stay healthy. I’m all for that. I try to eat as many healthy things as I can. I run, I do kick-boxing, and pilates as many days a week as I can, usually every day, but I also don’t ever make my mouth suffer for my stomach’s sake. It’s all about moderation, people. Eat the cheesecake if you want. Just not the whole one.

Or in my case, eat both slices of cheesecake, since Hubs decided he didn’t want it.

Yum. (The second slice was yummy, too.)

3. We got a jump start on our holiday spirit by “shopping” in my parents’ basement for old Christmas decorations they no longer use or want. We found this.

It's an old Christmas tree in need of some love!

We also found a bunch of stuff Hubs says we can’t have. I understand. Everything we bring into our apartment is something we’re going to have to carry out when we buy a house. And while I agree with that argument, I still want it to be our home, and feel like a home should feel.

Maybe this is the sentimental side of me, but I don’t want to live only thinking about how inconvenient something will be in the future. I’m all for planning, and thinking ahead to the future, but I’m also for making today the best it can be. It’s a point of discussion and contention for us every time I want to bring stuff home. And it isn’t that he doesn’t want or appreciate the stuff, he just knows how heavy it will be going back down those three flights of stairs…. (But this is a discussion for another whole blog post…)

4. We did a little black Friday shopping for the first time ever. And by little, I mean, we waited until noon, and went to look at what all was left, and what all had been cleared out. It was fun. We got in no fights, saw no cops, and were shoved or pushed or stolen from zero times. We bought 2 little things for Christmas gifts for family members. We stand by our decision to stay in and in bed the morning after Thanksgiving. Kudos to those who enjoy it. We just do not.

5. We made granola. It’s like my Christmas drug addiction. It’s a secret family recipe, and it’s the most addicting thing I’ve ever eaten. I’ll show you.

We sometimes give this stuff as gifts to friends for Christmas. Those people are lucky, let me tell you.

The picture doesn’t do it justice. At all. Wyatt doesn’t like it as much as I do, but that’s because his love affair with pecans hasn’t really begun yet. He’ll come around. Someday.

6. I realized I need to get moving on my gift for Hubs’s birthday. I have less than one week until we celebrate. He doesn’t even want to celebrate. He’s not very festive or excited about birthdays. We’re EXACT opposites there. I love celebrating birthdays.

7. I also realized we need to find a good compromise for Christmas festivities. He doesn’t like decorations as much as me. I love them. He doesn’t love giving or getting presents. I love them. He doesn’t like Christmas music. I love it. He’s not Mr. Scrooge, but I might start calling him that if he doesn’t perk up on the festivities after his birthday. I knew this long before I married him though, so it’s not a surprise. More on this later.

8. We reflected on our blessings. As is appropriate for every day, especially Thanksgiving. And we are truly blessed. Check out this page for my list!

9. I got a whole bunch of new craft supplies and ideas. I also made a couple more trees. I’m taking pictures and notes, and can’t wait to share all my adventures soon! I also went bridesmaid dress shopping for my best friend’s wedding (it will be way better than the movie by that name!). I can’t believe it’s getting so close to time. I can’t wait to celebrate and watch you begin your life with your husband! We have so much planning and showering and bachelorette-ing to do!

10. We’re now home, after this long, fantastic weekend of giving thanks and having fun. And you know what? I think I’m somehow even happier when I’m able to wrap up my weekend doing just this. Having a quick, quiet dinner with just the two of us after a weekend full of family and friends.

At home, eating frozen pizza and snuggling on the couch.

This is us, this is home, and this is our little family. Blessed? I think so.

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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